For the fourth consecutive year, Texas A&M was recognized as one of the nation’s top animation schools, placing third among public institutions, second in the Southwest and first in Texas in new lists created by Animation Career Review, an online career resource for aspiring animators, game designers and digital artists.
The 2018 lists were compiled after an analysis of schools’ depth and breadth of programs and faculty, admission selectivity, value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness, academic reputation and geographic location.
Animation studies at Texas A&M’s are part of a broader curriculum offered at the Department of Visualization that produces graduates who prepare for success in a wide range of visualization-related fields by developing artistic and technical expertise.
“Our approach is to bind artistic and technical components equally,” said Tim McLaughlin, head of the department. “This means that we’re not likely to be the best fit for someone seeking a heavily art-driven experience or for someone who is primarily focused on hardcore software development. However, for the student who has the desire to be challenged to create works that require aesthetic and technical knowledge, we have really good programs available.”
Graduate visualization students have the unique opportunity of learning about the fast-growing fields of digital animation and virtual reality in the department’s summer industry course, in which participants create animated short films and virtual reality games with guidance from industry pros using a workflow process similar to the kind used at professional studios.
The Animation Career Review’s 2018 rankings also listed Texas A&M’s undergraduate visualization program second nationally among bachelor of science programs, third among master of science and master of arts programs and 18th overall, among public and private schools.
Visualization education at Texas A&M
The university’s undergraduate visualization degree focuses on the processes of creation, design and development of the visual experience, the Master of Science in Visualization requires students to develop advanced expertise in a specific focus area, and the Master of Fine Arts in Visualization, one of only a few of its kind in the nation, provides technology-infused visual arts training.
The Department of Visualization is regularly recognized by the industry for student excellence. It has been previously lauded as one of the most elite video game design schools in the world by The Princeton Review and ranked as a top illustration school by The Art Career Project.
Visualization graduates, or “Vizzers,” can be found working as creative talent for Hollywood’s leading animation and special effects studios including Pixar, Blue Sky, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Industrial Light and Magic, Dreamworks Animation, Rhythm & Hues Studios and Reel FX.
The work of the Department of Visualization’s students, faculty and alumni can be found online.